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Go Fourth (or Later) and Prosper

April 29, 2013
April 29, 2013

Table of Contents
April 29, 2013

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
NBA PLAYOFFS
BASEBALL
  • LAST SEASON WAS THE YEAR OF TROUT AND HARPER, BUT THERE WAS A THIRD BRO FROM THE ROOKIE CLASS OF 2012 WHO LEFT HIS MARK IN MORE SUBTLE WAYS. HEED THE WORDS OF HIS BUDDY BRYCE: MANNY MACHADO'S CAREER IS ABOUT TO GET REAL LOUD, REAL SOON

  • MANNY MACHADO'S ADEPT HANDLING OF THE HOT CORNER SHOULD NOT PREVENT THE O'S FROM MOVING HIM BACK TO THE MIDDLE

FILM ROOM
CELTICS 5
GREGG POPOVICH
  • Pop Art 60

    HOW GREGG POPOVICH—A FOODIE, FORMER SPY (MAYBE), RUSSIAN LITERATURE LOVER, FRENCH NEW WAVE CINEPHILE, WINE ENTHUSIAST, CURMUDGEON, FATHER FIGURE, DEFENSIVE GURU TURNED OFFENSIVE MASTERMIND AND THE LONGEST-TENURED COACH IN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS—CREATED A MASTERPIECE IN SAN ANTONIO

Departments

Go Fourth (or Later) and Prosper

Need more reasons to watch on Saturday? SI assembled a pretty stellar team from players (all active in 2012) taken in the fourth round or later, or undrafted

OFFENSE

This is an article from the April 29, 2013 issue

QB Tom Bradysixth roundPatriots2000

Scouting report said: "Looks frail." Career résumé says: Three Super Bowl rings, two league MVPs.

RB Arian Fosterundrafted2009

Destroyed his rep by clashing with Vols coach Phil Fulmer. Repaired it by averaging 1,421 rushing yards over past three seasons for Houston.

LT Jermon Bushrodfourth roundSaints2007

Six standout years as Drew Brees's blind-side protector earned him a $35 million deal with the Bears last month.

LG Jonathan Goodwinfifth roundJets2002

A washout in New York, he won a Super Bowl ring with the Saints in '10 and helped lead the Niners to the big game last season.

C Matt Birksixth roundVikings1998

Harvard product and perennial Pro Bowler spent 10 seasons with Vikes and four with Ravens, capping career with Super Bowl XLVII win.

RG Doug Freefourth roundCowboys2007

For escorting Dallas rushers downfield and having Tony Romo's back, the 'Boys rewarded Free with a $32 million deal in '11.

RT David Diehlfifth roundGiants2003

The unheralded ex-Illini has played just about every position on the New York line, winning two Super Bowl rings in the process.

WR Wes Welkerundrafted2004

Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin' off 100-catch seasons, a streak that will likely continue on Peyton's Broncos.

WR Brandon Marshallfourth roundBroncos2006

Off-field problems and struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, but Jay Cutler has kept him productive.

WR Marques Colstonseventh roundSaints2006

Hofstra product was fourth to last off the board in '06 and is now first alltime among New Orleans WRs.

TE Antonio Gatesundrafted 2003

The NBA called him a tweener, but since the Chargers took a flier on him, he has become an NFL prototype for his position.

DEFENSE

DE Elvis Dumervilfourth roundBroncos2006

Louisville product has 63½ career sacks and would still be in Denver rather than Baltimore if his agent hadn't fumbled a fax.

NT Jay Ratliffseventh roundCowboys2005

Undersized coming out of Auburn, the four-time Pro Bowler has emerged as the linchpin of the Cowboys' D line.

DE Jared Allenfourth roundChiefs2004

Idaho State's finest has averaged nearly 15 sacks a season since joining the Vikes in '08.

OLB James Harrisonundrafted2002

Cut twice by the Steelers before emerging as a devastating force; '08 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Super Bowl winner.

ILB Larry Footefourth roundSteelers2002

Michigan man has been a steadying presence on Pittsburgh's D (he also had a short stint in Detroit). At 32, doesn't seem to be slowing.

ILB London Fletcherundrafted 1998

He might be short (5'10"), but his career has been anything but: He's missed one start in last 14 seasons with the Rams, Bills and Redskins.

OLB Jarret Johnsonfourth roundRavens2003

Two-time 'Bama captain had mediocre combine numbers but stuck for nine seasons on a talented Ravens D before move to San Diego in '12.

CB Cortland Finneganseventh roundTitans2006

Draft slight served as motivation: 17 career picks, an All-Pro nod in '08 and a $50 million move to the Rams in '12.

CB Asante Samuelfourth roundPatriots2003

At his peak, the four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl winner was the NFL's best on-ball defender. With the Falcons, not as much.

SS Kam Chancellorfifth roundSeahawks2010

Three position changes at Virginia Tech turned off scouts, but a '12 Pro Bowl invite shows he has found his niche in the Pac Northwest.

FS Dashon Goldsonfourth round49ers2007

Went from lightly regarded out of Washington to a '12 All-Pro and one of this off-season's most sought-after free agents.

SPECIAL TEAMS

P Shane Lechlerfifth roundRaiders2000

Seven-time Pro Bowler and the NFL's alltime leader in yards per punt (100-plus punts).

PR-KR Josh Cribbsundrafted2005

The best returner not named Hester had eight career TD returns; currently a free agent.

K Adam Vinatieriundrafted1996

Most clutch kicker in NFL history has four Super Bowl rings and is still booting it at 40.

PHOTOSIMON BRUTY/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MARSHALL)PHOTORICH GABRIELSON/ICON SMI (ALLEN)PHOTOMARK COWAN/UPI/LANDOV (VINATIERI)